inTalk with Joelize Friedrichs AG Pilot
Connecting Airpowers: women in aviation, agriculture, Global goals

Joelize Friedrichs Photocredit by Anderson Artmann
  • Joelize Friedrichs Photocredit by Anderson Artmann
  • Foto: Anderson Artmann
  • hochgeladen von Tatjana Christelbauer

F*Air-initiative in support of the UN SDG´s and UN SCR1325 through art projects, media promotion of activities and interviews with female professionals from the field of aviation, agriculture, art, technology, fashion, media and beyond.
Connecting Air Powers for better future  

                                  inTalk with Joelize Friedrichs, the Brazilian crop duster pilot

ACD-Agency for Cultural Diplomacy team has created F*Air initiative to support the current global developments toward maintenance of the crisis situation, peacebuilding, and security in believing that peaceability is not related to gender roles and equal opportunities are crucial for success. Cultural Diplomacy activities may connect actors from various fields ranging from military to agriculture, fashion, media, art and beyond, to share and to exchange their visions, experiences, and unify capacities for the improvement of the living conditions and sustainable development.
Our interviews with female professionals from across the world will spotlight best practices and inspiring examples for the young generation, build an evidence base for further activities and development of partnerships. One of the fields, where women are still underrepresented in the field of aviation. Beside of the civilian airlines and military, there is great potential, in the field of agriculture for piloting, humanitarian purposes and transformation of the war-oriented economies toward investment into life and peace by use of new technologies
and adaptation of the "war machines" into instruments for growth and prevention of further natural and human disasters.

In 2019 I was invited to deliver a presentation on Dance Arts as a form of Cultural Diplomacy within the current Global discourses and to compose dance choreography for the I Panamerican Dance Congress in Rio de Janeiro.
Árvore da Vida2030 was created as a combination of lectures on UN SDGs, focusing on gender roles and the transformative potential of art for change. Artwork Hommage to artist Schröder Sonnestern´ s "Moralische Praxis"- variation by Austrian born international artist and ecological activist Friedensreich Hundertwasser who has planted more than 150.000 trees across continents was taken as an essential inspiration for my creation of dance choreography.
The title Árvore da Vida2030 (Tree of life) describes a widespread in the world's mythologies and relates to the concept of the sacred tree which symbolizes immortality and fertility.
The headless women as a main motive of the original painting by Schröder-Sonnenstern and its further development by Hundertwasser were “transformed” by dance performance into agricultural aircraft for hydroseeding, led by a female pilot.
The story about an agricultural female pilot from Brazil Joelize Friedrichs (30) which I have found in an article inspired me to connect the real and symbolical role of women with the profession.

Impressive work of Joelize have led me to contact her and report about our project and invite her to share her impressions in our interview.
Our messages were simply exchanged via Instagram and Joelize has kindly accepted my invitation for this interview.
Here we are!

Thank you Joelize for your kind responses and interests to support our initiative by sharing your personal impressions and experiences and for accepting my invitation to act as ACD-Ambassador for the F*Air initiative! Let us start with your profession as AgPilot and partner owner of the company where you fly.
How come that you became a pilot? Was it a childhood dream?

I come from a humble background, so in my childhood, I didn't dare to dream of being an aviator. At the end of high school in 2007, I did not have high expectations for my future profession but then I've heard a conversation about aviation, and it overwhelmed me.
I spoke with my parents about this experience and they took me to the Aeroclub near my hometown.
It was the first time that I saw a real plane next to me and the first time that. I took the flight! From that moment I was sure, that piloting is what I want for my life profession. At that time, I was 17 years old. Now, 13 years later, I am still a pilot and also become co-owner and partner of the company AgroFly.

What was challenging on your path by becoming a pilot as a female?

The beginning of life in aviation was a little difficult, not because of my gender and age, but because as young women, I did not have many social contacts besides my friend circle and family, as well as no link to the world of aviation. It was all new to me. But I was accepted with great affection by the colleagues in the Aeroclub, who become my close friends. And every single day of my life, the planes enchanted me more and more, so no obstacle was big enough to stop me.
My family also had financial difficulties to pay for my course, so after I had a little experience I moved to the north of Brazil, my father paid my rent, and to collect flight hours, I worked cleaning aircraft. But it was all worth it.

Support by family and one´´‘s own dedication are some of your essential pillars for success. What else can be supportive of “becoming your dream”? How about your professional training, lifestyle? Do you have a specific gym to stay “fit”?

Until last year I lived far from home, usually in accommodation on the farm where I flew. So the lifestyle was based on flying and resting in my spare time. And when I got a few days off, I traveled to visit my family.
In 2019, after many years of traveling through Brazil, I returned to my hometown. Now I live at my home, in the city of Não-Me-Toque, state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil.
Finally, I enjoy my “normal routine”: I wake up at home, go to work, and at night I'm back home. It doesn't seem like something special, but when you get used to sleeping in accommodations so many kilometers far away from home, that's a great ”luxury”. Regarding the training, I'm not a big fan of the gym, I prefer to practice sports like futsal and volleyball. I also enjoy hiking.

Would you like to share some inspiring moments from your career?

Currently I´ m flying the Embraer Ipanema 202. Previously I used to fly other agricultural planes, like Cessna and Pawnee. I believe that the moments that most inspire me, are the moments where I took a wrong step, the moments of difficulty. They shaped me to be who I am today. Such experience happened when I left my parent´´s house for the first time and went to the north of the country and ‘threw’ myself into the unknown world without any acquaintance, just starting my job in aviation. These were incredibly difficult days for me, but my family supported and guided me to not give up, to sustain all obstacles.
Another challenging situation, which left strong traces on my self-esteem and confidence happened due to the failures I had by a flight.
Thank God I never had a plane crash, but I had serious technical problems. And from the perception of these failures to taking the plane safely back to the runway, you need to be very calm, cautious, and wise. Those attributes I consider as essential for my all life stages.

In difficult times, calm and wisdom help to get rid of problems and family support have a strong impact on my personal growth.

The Brazilian agricultural aviation fleet sported 2,115 aircraft in 2017, 1.5% more than in 2016. Over the last ten years, growth stands at an impressive 46.2%. (Brazil now lags behind only the United States, which has 3,600 agricultural aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration FAA)*.
How you perceive the current developments from your field of work, regarding the protection of the natural environment, investments into the green economy, technology for agricultural use, innovations, progress?

When it comes to agricultural aviation, I am very proud to say that in Brazil we currently have a very satisfactory path in relation to preserving the environment, starting with the efficient use of water, for savings. In a survey, I had access to, it shows us that in Brazil around 70 million hectares were applied by airplanes and taking into account that we only use between 6 and 7% of the water that terrestrial equipment uses, the saving of drinking water is very high.
In addition to the fact that environmental inspection of agricultural aviation is strictly regulated, the training of pilots and other professionals working in this area is also based on the protection of the environment, in order to reduce any possible damage to nature.
We are in a battle to produce more, without having to increase the production area, this is done through new technologies, new equipment, and knowledge that we are always working to expand. 

Do you have contacts to other agricultural pilots from another countries and which role plays the international cooperation for sustainable development
and progress in your sector?

Yes! Most of my contacts are from the United States. But I also talk to pilots from Canada and Chile.
In March 2020, eight female pilots were on the cover of the AgAir Update Magazine, and that brought me closer to some of them, I got to know their stories, it was really cool. Capacity-building among women from the field can encourage other girls to take advantage and try.
Definitely agree! Together, we create new opportunities and the best is to do it by sharing and exchanging evident examples and connecting!

Have you ever perceived your profession and your work as a contribution
to peace, security, growth?

Yes, agricultural aviation is directly related to these issues, since it is essential for large-scale food production. And we can also note that agricultural aviation acts to combat vectors, such as the dengue fever mosquito, and recently Chile also used agricultural aircraft to combat Covid-19 in its urban areas. Here we can also talk about the importance of agricultural aviation for the production of renewable fuels like alcohol, and also in the production of fabrics like cotton.

How you spend your time during the COVID-19 and is your work affected through the restrictions?

I live in a small town and we still have a few cases of COVID-19.
So when I don't need to work, I try to stay at home, avoiding contact with other people.
As I work in agriculture, my work was not very affected by it. We continue to work, with due care, but I keep coming to the company.
But we are attentive, following all health recommendations.

Regarding the health issues and agriculture, at the end of dance performance and my lecture presentation in Rio de Janeiro, I have donated a Guave tree to the congress organizer Ms. Andrea Raw as a symbolical act for the development of our further cooperation and growth of our visions and shared works during the congress sessions. Hundertwasser´´´s artwork inspired me for dance composition, so as Hundertwasser´s ecological thought and tree-planting activities across the world, have set essential ecological aspect into work of art and its impact on life in peace with nature and the human world.
Have you ever planted a tree? If so, which one, or which tree is for you most likely?

Talk about trees makes me happy!
I have already planted many trees, including Araucária. This majestic tree is typical of the southern region of Brazil, is protected by law, and can last for more than 200 years. It is my favorite tree.
I love to fly and admire the landscapes that are formed by this beautiful tree.
I have also seen reports of agricultural aircraft that planted Araucaria on a large scale, sowing their seeds in areas of environmental protection.

How you like to spend your free time? Any hobbies?

Well, when I'm not flying or working for the company, I like being with my family, we're always together. I also love to travel, meet new places and people. I like to meet older people and listen to their stories and life experiences.

How about language and communication? ACD-team is multilingual and we like to share, exchange, and connect favorite words, terms, proverbs into one landscape.
Which languages do you speak?

My whole family is of German origin, so at home, we still speak a little German. I studied the English language for a few years, and I was also able to exercise it on the trips I took. And my mother language is Portuguese.

How is your relation to the German language? You have mentioned that Your family is still speaking “a little German”. Does it have some special reason, the situation when it fit´s better?
Do you have some favorite words in German?

Yes, in fact, my state and also the neighboring state was colonized by Europeans, mostly from Germany, Italy, and Holland. So, my German ancestors came along to Brazil, in the time of its colonization. The German language remains in the culture of these people, especially older people, even today. In my house and in my whole family we still speak German, but it is a dialect, called Hunsrückisch.

In the majority, we learn only to speak and understand, we do not learn to read and write the Hunsrückisch. I studied the official German language for a year, but then I had to go flying, and I ended up stopping my study.
I do not have a favorite word in German, but I really do like and love my family's conversations, in German.

Would you like to share your favorite word in Portuguese, proverb, song …?

In Portuguese, my favorite word is “SAUDADE”. It has no direct English translation. But it does mean that you miss something or someone.

And in this life of distances, SAUDADE is something very present in my life. I miss my family, my friends, the places I met, the planes I flew. And it's amazing And it's amazing when you overcome the Saudade and see, feel, with "new eyes" what you have missed!
About the English language, I love the Southern American accent. I have very dear friends in Texas US, and I love the way they talk. I love the simplicity of the language. I also love American country music.

My origin is Croatian. I perceive the language as an onomatopoetic one, so I like to use diminutive forms by introduction. My favorite word is „Ptičica“
(Engl. little bird in diminutive form; pronouncing: : pti+č (tch)+i+ca(“c” like by Pizza )
In german, I like the creative word weaving, such as "Herbstblätterstrauss" 
(autumn leaves bouquet)

We have touched so many topics, ranging from a childhood dream, profession, family life, culture-identity-related topic by language use.
There is so much space to exchange such individual perceptions what makes this form of interviewing colorful and interesting!
Your personality, life art, and profession have inspired me in many ways to share your story with wider audiences!
Would you like to share your message for the young generation, advice for girls and women by their career development, life arts practice, wisdom, ...?

My message mainly to young girls, who are starting to build their careers is: don't let gender define you! In the case of victories, don't make them happen because you are a woman. In the case of defeats, don't say you were defeated because you are a woman. Make use of your strength as a person, regardless of gender. The study, work with honor on something you really like. Love what you do, and do your best. If you want to be a housewife, do it in the best way possible, if you want to be CEO of a big company, do it in the best way, and so for everything you set out to do. Recognition and appreciation results from good service. In my work, especially here in my region, I could succeed and overcome challenging situations by trust-building into the reliability of my good services. I always try to do my best. My clients are interested in good service, and that's what I have to provide. It does not play any role if it's a man or a woman in charge of the plane. Just the quality of your service!
And remember, defeats teach much more than successes! Surround yourself with good people, be a good human being, and love what you do!

Love is definitely a key term for a “good governance” and self-leadership, the key to success in any profession, when it comes to provide your best and build trust in all relations, whether within the family, with friends, customers, ... love can be here perceived through the lens of responsible acting, attentive communication, emotional, ecological awareness
by all means.

Have you ever been to Austria?
Austria-Brazil Bilateral relations began when the Archduchess Leopoldina of Habsburg married the Crown Prince to the throne of Portugal and future Emperor of Brazil,
Dom Pedro I. The arrival of Princess Leopoldina to Brazil
led to the organization of an Austrian scientific expedition, which, from 1817 to 1835, promoted an important effort to list the Brazilian flora and topography.

Such an interesting historical background!
Unfortunately, I have never been to Austria, or in some countries in Europe. It is a dream!

I have been to the United States, Australia, and also passed through the United Arab Emirates.
And some countries here in South America.

You might love to come to Austria! Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to welcome you!
Besides of its natural, historical, and cultural beauties, art, architecture, there is also International Aeromeeting AirPower Austria, you might love to attend!

I don't remember hearing about AirPower Austria. What is it about?

AirPower is an international aeromeeting organized by the Austrian military, Red Bull, and the Austrian province Steiermark (Styria). The meeting takes place in Zeltweg, Styria, green heart of Austria, since 1997 and is organized in an interval of 2-3 years up to 2003.
It will be great to welcome you there, for the next Airpower aeromeeting! With your AG plain hydrating the fields around??!
The Smoke Squadron from Brazil participated in 2016. I have met the pilots there and we took the picture with our first CD-Airshow tours-our project participants and now Airshow Ambassadors who came from Serbia to attend the show.

It would be a dream if I could go there and see all of it! Who knows, maybe next year this will really happen!

I think that we have built a nice bridge already, so hopefully, the world will sustain the current crisis, and we will definitely find a way to meet in Austria!
By the way, You have mentioned that you have previously practiced aerobatic. Is it still relevant and how such “sport” differs from your job as a pilot?
How does it work with AG plain?

Actually, aerial acrobatics is just something that I really like, and that I ended up distancing myself for a while. But I recently got in touch again and it was wonderful. So maybe in the near future, I will invest in it and really learn to fly aerial acrobatics.

Good luck with new challenges and welcome on board by ACD!
Thank you JŌ! Obrigada! Vielen Dank! Gutän Ta!

I am sure that your story will inspire the young generation across countries, especially girls and women to discover new career opportunities maybe as AG pilots! Hopefully, further investments will also turn more toward the green economy and transformation of destructive vehicles for life and growth!
Servus in Österreich!

Tatjana Christelbauer, 27th May 2020

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